Teen dies in Northwest El Paso crash; friends gather to remember him
POSTED: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 11:34am
Witnesses: 2 cars may have been racing
El Paso, Tx —
UPDATE: Benjamin Zamora
A group of students at Franklin High School are still in shock after the loss of their 16-year-old friend that died yesterday after a horrific wreck in west El Paso. Today several friends visited the crash site to remember him.
Police said it all happened yesterday when two students were racing down Resler Drive in West El Paso. The driver Alonzo Perez died while the other 16-year-old passengers Irvin Barba is still battling for his life.
"It was shocking to me when I heard it because I don't know, I knew him for a very long time and never thought it would have been him, he was such a good guy a sweetheart," Perez’s friend Ramon Flores said.
Police officials said Perez and his friend Barba were racing. That’s when they said Alonzo lost control slammed into a pole ripping his car in half.
He was rushed to the hospital where he later died, while Barba is still in critical condition.
"You take life for granted, honestly I was older than him he was really young he could've been doing so much with his life but just one mistake ruined it all for him," Flores said.
EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera released a statement and said;
"It is tragic when a young life is taken away from us. We extend our thoughts and sincere condolences to all of the families involved and the Franklin community. Our counselors are available to listen and comfort students needing assistance."
One witness who is also a professional race car driver said he believes speed is what led to the crash.
"The speed of the impact was horrific they've had to be in excess of 80, 90 miles an hour, the skit marks were probably a good 150 feet long or so before they hit the pole the two pieces of the vehicle were probably a good 80, 90 feet apart," John Freisen said.
Today some of his close friends gathered to remember him and say what happened is still unbelievable.
"I can't believe it, it's like something that would never cross my mind, he was like a brother for me like we would chill all the time, it was unexpectedly he was a good kid man," Perez’s friend Freddy Ybarra said.
During the day several people visited the site of the crash to leave flowers and candles.
Police believe the teens were racing a car only described as silver Mitsubishi. They said that driver stopped for a moment after the crash then left.
Officers are asking anyone with information on who that driver is to call them at (915) 564-7140
UPDATE: El Paso Police have confirmed that 16-year-old Alonzo Perez, who was driving a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta has died as a result of his injuries in Thursday's violent crash on Resler and Black Ridge.
EPPD say that Perez was racing another vehicle at approximately 4:24 p.m., possibly a silver Mitsubishi, when Perez lost control and struck a pole, cutting the Jetta in two. The Mitsubishi stopped momentarily, but then later left the scene.
Emergency crews transported Perez, and his passenger 16-year-old Irvin Barba to University Medical Center where Perez later died. Barba is still being treated for serious injuries at UMC at this hour.
Both Perez and Barba were both students at Franklin High School, and an outpouring of support could be seen on social media outlets late last evening from Perez' friends.
EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera issued the following statement Friday afternoon, “It is tragic when a young life is taken away from us. We extend our thoughts and sincere condolences to all of the families involved and the Franklin community. Our counselors are available to listen and comfort students needing assistance.”
Police are asking anyone with additional information on this crash to contact their office at (915) 564-7140. You may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (915) 566-8477.
Alonzo Perez, 16
EARLIER: Two men are in critical condition at the hospital after police say they crashed their car into a pole in a Northwest El Paso neighborhood Thursday afternoon.
Police initially told NewsChannel 9 someone had died.
According to investigators, a green Volkswagen Jetta was speeding northbound along Resler when it slammed into a pole at the intersection of Resler and Blackridge.
Half the car was wrapped around the pole and the other half ripped off and landed several yards away from the rest of it.
"There's been about 3 more accidents that's happened there before because of the curb, and you can't really see where you're going," said Pancho Dominguez.
Dominguez lives in the neighborhood where the accident happened, and he says the roads in the area are to blame.
"Put out the street a little bit more, lower the curb, just so people don't run into the same poll every single time," he said.
Another witness, who wanted to remain anonymous told NewsChannel 9 the green Corolla was racing with another car - a light colored sedan that left the scene before police arrived, but investigators have not confirmed that.
Special Traffic Investigators remained on the scene for several hours to try and figure out exactly how this car crash happened.
Police have not released the names or the ages of the two male victims.
We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest as it becomes available to us.